You may be wondering about our the City of Portland’s draft sick time ordinance and how it could affect you and your employees. You’ve come to the right place to get the facts – about paid sick time generally and the draft ordinance proposed by Commissioner Fritz specifically.
DRAFT PROPOSAL: Portland Commissioner Fritz introduced a draft sick time ordinance on January 17, 2013; read the full proposal here. We also prepared a 2-page FAQ for employers to understand how it works that you can download here. She held an information forum on Wednesday, January 23rd during which she took questions from 6 – 8 PM. A public hearing in council chambers is planned for Thursday, January 31st at 2 PM.
The basic proposal is to require businesses with 6+ employees to allow all employees to accrue one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked, up to a maximum of 5 days per year. Businesses with 5 or fewer employees will offer the same amount of unpaid but job protected sick time. Employers who already allow all (part- and full-time) employees to accrue sick time at this rate - and use it with no advanced notice required - will not be need to change their policies.
BUSINESS GUIDE: The Main Street Alliance of Oregon and the VOIS Business Alliance issued a short report to help local employers understand the proposal and how it might change – or not – their current leave policies; read the full report here.
FACT SHEET: The National Partnership for Women & Families prepared this fact sheet laying out the benefits for both employers and employees under a paid sick time policy; read it here.
QUESTIONS? We’re happy to explain the proposed policy. Just email us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You’ll also hear from other Portland business owners who support their employees by offering paid sick time. You’ll find a full list of Portland employers who support earned sick days at the bottom of this page.
Kent Lewis, President & Founder, Anvil Media, “At Anvil Media our employees ARE our business. The more productive they are, the more productive Anvil Media and our clients are. So I want them home when they’re sick. They recover faster, they don’t delay treatment for health problems that can sneak up on you later, and here’s the real key: they don’t get the rest of us sick. Office contagion – especially in winter – is infamous. When staff come to work sick, productivity drops for everyone they sneeze on. So Anvil Media employees earn paid sick time – and are encouraged to use it. But not everyone works somewhere like Anvil. Which is why I support a citywide sick time policy. The whole community does better when people can be productive employees and take care of their health and inevitable non-work affairs – without risking their economic security.”
Brian Snyder, C0-Owner, Pine State Biscuits, “When my partners and I sat down to write a business plan, we knew we wanted to create the kind of business that people want in their neighborhoods and where people want to work. We are off to a good start and constantly looking at ways to make our workplace more desirable. When it comes to our staff, our goal is to attract and retain great employees — because great employees are key to a great business, and turnover is expensive and time-consuming.
Having good people on staff means we can focus on growing our business, not just keeping our doors open. Letting employees earn paid sick days is one way businesses can invest in employee retention – and in the restaurant industry, it’s a public health issue, too. Our customers like their biscuits without the side of contagion.”
Serena Cruz Walsh, Co-Owner, Albina Construction,”Our construction company renovates existing homes with a special focus on home performance energy retrofits in the Portland metro area. Tom, Dennis and I are Oregonians and Portlanders who care about thriving neighborhoods, the economic health and well being of the families in our homes and the vitality of our environment.
So of course we care about the people who work for us, too – they’re part of the Albina Construction family. They earn paid sick time so they have the time they need to recover when they get sick (we all do!) or when they have a sick child who needs their care. Life happens, and it feels right to support our employees when it does. Plus, when workers are treated well, they tend to return the favor by doing a good job for us – and our customers. And that’s good for business.”
Per Casey, President & CEO of web design firm Tenrec, Inc., “At Tenrec, we don’t just offer paid sick days, we offer a paid time off (PTO) policy for health purposes, partial days out, vacation, and other purposes. We offer this to all our employees, part-time and full-time. We’ve never questioned whether or not we should offer paid time off, but we have considered how to evolve and improve this overall benefit.
A good PTO program is more than just giving employees paid time away from work. We work hard to strike the right balance between fairness and flexibility with our program. In the end, we see our PTO program as a key benefit for our team and one that will help to keep us happy committed to the success of our company.”
Jim Houser, Owner, Hawthorne Auto Clinic, “We’ve always had a good benefits program for our employees at Hawthorne Auto Clinic because we thought it the right thing to do. Employees have lives, after all, and our business works more smoothly when we accept and plan for them.
We’ve learned over time that offering good benefits – like earning paid sick time – enables us to compete with larger employers – which tend to offer more benefits – to recruit and retain the best employees. Employee hiring and training is a major cost for our business, and retention is a major struggle for any business, especially small ones.
Plus, for some business owners, it’s understandably appealing to play on a more level playing field, where competitors are required to meet the same minimum benefit standards – and, as a result, all employees have basic workplace rights. I think it’s time that Portland takes that step forward.”
Jason & Kim Graham-Nye, Founders & Owners, gDiapers, “At gDiapers we believe family and business can go together better. For us, this includes every employee having 4 weeks of Paid Time Off. It’s simple, if you’re sick, or your kids are sick, you won’t deliver good work.
So, our policy is if you’re sick, stay home, get better and come back when you are well. It just makes sense for everyone. And our business is stronger as a result.”
Jennifer & Tony Fuentes, Owners, Milagros Boutique, “Why do Milagros staff earn paid sick leave? Easy. On the practical side, if we put a staff member in the position where she has to come to work ill, we’re putting our customers at risk. Plus, before you know it, we’d have an entire staff that’s ill. And that’s not good for business.
On the personal side, our staff supports us and our business, so it feels right to support them, too. We believe that workers who are treated with respect treat us, our business, and our customers with that same respect, in turn.”
Renee Spears, Rose City Mortgage, “At Rose City Mortgage, our goal is to treat our employees as well as we treat our clients. It’s not only the socially responsible thing to do, it’s good for business. In a service industry like ours, clients can feel the difference when employees are healthy and respected.
Portland Employers Who Support Paid Sick Days:
Albina Construction, LLC
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